Some conclusions - Crossing Utah - CycleBlaze

June 6, 2017

Some conclusions

The flight home was the way we like them: short and uneventful, leaving Grand Junction and arriving home at reasonable hours.  For years now, most of our touring has been overseas - long flights, early departures and jet lag have been part of the deal.  Typically we would arrive home late in the night and turn around the next morning to drive down to Salem to show up at the office, getting over our jet lag on company time.  We're starting to really warm to these shorter domestic tours that leave us arriving refreshed and ready to go.

Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

In recent years, we seem to come home thinking each of our tours has been a wonderful experience, and this one certainly kept our streak going. Southern Utah is such a kaleidoscope - there is just one breathtaking view after another, all across the state.  Seeing it again after all these years, it's no surprise that both of my prior visits have burned so brightly in my memory over the years.  I'm sure this one will also.

We were once again remarkably fortunate on weather.  There was a serious storm on the day we flew in to Saint George.  Then, 18 days of basically perfect weather.  Monday afternoon, while packing away the bicycles, we were startled to hear a hard rain outside the window, followed by an enormous thunder clap.  We just looked at each other and smiled.

That's just the luck of the draw though.  If I were to do this trip again in the spring, I would probably leave a few weeks earlier and get out before Memorial Day weekend.  The last week of the tour started getting uncomfortably hot for both of us.

Our Bike Fridays worked perfectly for us again, other than a pair of flats that I can't blame on the bikes themselves.  Our travel plan worked well too.  As we normally do anymore on one-way tours, we had our suitcases shipped forward to the endpoint after we arrived.  Our innkeeper in Saint George was happy to manage this, and shipped them by UPS for roughly $100.

One thing we both really enjoyed on this tour was the number of ad hoc conversations we entered into, on the road and around the edges of the day.  It's something we don't experience much overseas because of the language barrier, but it added a lot to the overall experience.  Bike Fridays are good for this of course, because their funny appearance draws stares and questions.  Also, of course, most people can hardly imagine someone getting up to one of these remote, jaw-dropping locations under their own steam.  

Also, I think our age and general appearance (mine in particular) add to this.  I especially liked being approached by a middle-aged woman during dinner at Red Cliffs Lodge.  She said she had noticed us when we biked in, looking more than a bit road worn.  She said she noticed that I didn't really look like I was in my thirties any more, and wanted to hear more about our experience.  She couldn't quite believe it when she heard that I was seventy.  It was a nice morale booster at the end of a challenging day.

Not much to say about our equipment list.  We travel very light, so we're not talking about much stuff in the first place.  The only gear I can think of that might be worth a comment is the cameras.  Nearly everything in the journal was shot with a Panasonic LX7, which still feels to me prey much ideal for cycle touring - light, reasonably small, good image quality.  I also carry a Panasonic ZS50, a superzoom, for the occasional distance shot that needs something  more.  Also, the panoramic come from the iPhone, and the videos come from Rachael's handlebar-mounted GoPro Hero.

Thanks again for following along, especially those of you who dropped a note into the Guestbook.  You helped make this trip special too.  Y'all come back now, y'hear?

## P1020861.JPG ##

Heart 1 Comment 0
Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 2
George HallI started reading and couldn't stop. I rode the ACA Western Express route in 2017 and it overlaps with your route a lot - I recognized many of the photos. I was there about 2 months after you - small world. Utah was quite memorable, and reading your journal took me down memory lane.
Reply to this comment
1 year ago
Scott AndersonTo George HallThis was such a wonderful tour. We were planning a second pass in the spring of 2020 from Saint George to Albuquerque, and even had the flight purchased and some of the lodging booked until the world shut down.
Reply to this comment
1 year ago